Hans Rancke wrote:Yes, and that is covered by power consumption. The amount of consumables that are consumed, however, is less when there are less people to consume them. So basing the cost of consumables consumed on the number of staterooms Does. Not. Make. Sense.
There may be costs involved that are not related to power consumption... or does no one change filters or use cleaning agents with life support equipment. Even air fresheners or scented candles? Chemical treatments for water tanks to keep bacteria growth low?
No doubt it is possible to come up with some parts of life support that has to be paid in any case. Your example of keeping down bacterial growth in the water supply is a good one. But life support also includes the consumption of food and sundries, a consumption that does not take place when no one is around to consume them. If the rule said that life support cost X credits per month (based on the size of the life support system (which is, of course, directly proportional to the number of people it is rated for (i.e. two per stateroom
)) plus Y credits per passenger and crewman, it would be fine (provided X and Y made sense compared to other costs).
Besides, the rule does not mention consumables anyway; people just make that assumption.
I make that assumption because keeping someone alive involves consuming various consumables.
And even then, it would be a mistake to assume that cost per unit volume remains the same always. Perhaps some places cost more for the required 'consumables', but the game simplifies this as an average amount per trip.
That practically goes without saying (Though CT at least said it outright). However, one of the big problems I had with the old CT system was that I thought Cr2000 per person per fortnight was much too high an average. If the cost of consumables ought to vary between, say, Cr800 and Cr1200, simplifying the figure to Cr2000 is still flat out wrong.
Just like changing shipping costs, etc.... if you change it, you change the setting's assumptions and thus, the setting itself. Just accept the rule as part of the setting for play balance/effect and move on.
You're assuming that changing the setting's assumptions from something that does not bear close examination to something that makes sense is not a desirable improvement.
As an aside, I have a second interest besides getting this particular rule to be self-consistent. Namely to lower the general costs of starship travel. At the canonical costs, far too many adventure ideas are scotched because the people involved wouldn't be able to afford the cost of starship travel. I'd like to change that by lowering the cost of mid passage and eliminating the lethality of low passage. Hence my advocacy of lower life support and 'ecomony passage' (in shared staterooms) has an ulterior motive.
I'd still want self-consistency in my game rules even if I didn't have that ulterior motive, though.
If we change every rule that Does. Not. Make. Sense. then there are many rules concerning world generation, economics, and other stuff that would need changing before worrying about this lil snippet.
But this lil snippet is the one we're discussing here.